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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

174                                    FLORA INDICA.                 [Meniqpermacea.
similar woods, but so have more distantly allied ones, fts Limada and Pachygone,
Cosdnium and Anamirta; and closely allied genera have occasionally very different
wood, as Tinospora and Paradana. In short, the deviations from a common type
presented by the various Species of Menispermacea are, perhaps, greater of their
kind than the deviation of the wood of the whole Order is from that of other Exo-
gens.
Decaisne sums up these'peculiarities with great neatness and precision, and with
so true an appreciation of their value, that, slender as were his resources compared
with ours, we have but fcjw alterations to suggest; and these we shall accordingly
append to the three heads under which he classes the peculiarities of the wood of
the Order.
I.  " Menispermacea differ from other Dicotyledones by the last annual deposit of
" wood not being separated from that of the former year by those large vessels which,
"in other Exogens, indicate the annual increase; by each wood-bundle remaining
" undivided; and by the liber, once formed, not being added to."
To the above general rule we find partial exceptions in Tmotpora .and others,
which have indications of annual growth in the wood, and in Cosdnivm, where there
are manifest signs of increment in those of the liber. The liber of several species
increases annually, as in Pfycnarrhena, Aspidoearyat Limacia, Tmosporat and others.
The wood-wedges become partially divided (as in Ari&tolochia) in Tinospora, or
rather two continuous wedges become confluent.
II.  " The wood-bundles of Meidspermacea cannot be compared with those of Mo-
** nocotyledones, because they increase annually, are disposed in regular symmetrical
" circles round a defined tilth, and because the liber does not form an integral part of
"each bundle."              1
In this view we entirely concur, adding that neither do the bundles of wood follow
the same course or development as in Monoeotyledones. The liber does, however,
appear in some species of Limacia to be an integral part of the wood* The great
frequency of a portion of the pith being formed of woody tissue, consisting of long
cells with truncate ends,'and passing insensibly into ordinary medullary tissue, is a
well-marked peculiarity of Memspermacea,
III.  "In some species (Cummpelos Pareira and Cocculus laurifoliits), after the
" first-formed wood-wedges have continued to increase for several years, other wood-
" wedges, altogether similar to these, only without spiral vessels and liber, are depo-
" sited in a zone exterior to them* wfeich operation being repeated, the stem finally
" appears to be made up of concentric circles of wood-wedge*; and further, the
"liber, which is only found in the first-formed wood-zone, is placed much nearer the
" centre than the circumference of tne stem, and hence not in tnc hark."
This account is perfectly accurate, aud describee a structure which is very frequent,
and perhaps general, in the Order, and constitutes a remarkable deviation from the
" ordinary Exogenous type. Each zoĢe is of several years' growth, and possibly the
outermost is not the pply one which ireceives additions.
The number of species of Jfaiispennacea is probably about 150, or at most 200.
They are generally widely diffused, aad are with few exceptions confiued to tropical
aud very hot subtropical countries. One inhabits Canada, and one Eastern'Siberia,
and a few are found in the United States, China, aud Japan. In Europe they
are unknown, as well as in New Zealand, Tasmania, and temperate South America.
Several species extend in Australia almost to the south coast, and they occur in all
parts of Africa from the Mediterran$sn\to the Cape of Good Hone.
Like Anonacea, they are most abundant in perennially humid climates, and they
occur in about equal numbers in Malabar, Ceylon, Malaya, Khasia, and Java. Lesa
than a third of the Ceylon species are common to that island and Malaya; but this
proportion being much larger than that which is found to exist iu Anotiacea, indi-
cates tlutt the species of M&iispermacea are much more widely diffused. Khasia
lias many species common to it and Malaya; but many have their southern limit in
Khositt, aud arc found also iu Sikkim mid throughout the Eastern Himalaya, and
probably extend theucc iiito the uiouutaiuous purU of West China. A fow species